section 279.1(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section of the Criminal Code of Canada defines hostage taking as confining or detaining a person and making threats as a condition for their release.

SECTION WORDING

279.1(1) Everyone takes a person hostage who with intent to induce any person, other than the hostage, or any group of persons or any state or international or intergovernmental organization to commit or cause to be committed any act or omission as a condition, whether express or implied, of the release of the hostage (a) confines, imprisons, forcibly seizes or detains that person; and (b) in any manner utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat that the death of, or bodily harm to, the hostage will be caused or that the confinement, imprisonment or detention of the hostage will be continued.

EXPLANATION

Section 279.1(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada addresses the offense of taking a person hostage. The section outlines specific actions that must be taken for an individual to be charged with this offense. The first criteria that must be met is the intent to induce a person or group to commit or cause an act or omission as a condition for the release of the hostage. This can be an express or implied condition. The second criteria outlines the actions that constitute taking a person hostage. These actions include confining, imprisoning, forcibly seizing, or detaining the person. Additionally, the perpetrator must utter, convey, or cause the receipt of a threat that the hostage will be killed or harmed, or that their confinement will continue. This section makes clear that the offense of taking a person hostage is a serious offense that can result in significant harm to the individual being held and the broader community. It also highlights the importance of intention in criminal activity and the need to protect individuals against threats and harm. Overall, Section 279.1(1) helps to ensure that individuals are held accountable for their actions and that victims of hostage-taking are protected under the law.

COMMENTARY

Section 279.1(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada defines the offense of taking a person hostage. The section describes the act of confining, imprisoning, forcibly seizing, or detaining someone with the intent to induce any person, group, state, or international or intergovernmental organization to commit or cause to be committed any act or omission. This offense is a particularly heinous one, as it involves not only the deprivation of liberty of an individual but also the use of that person as leverage to achieve some other end. The Criminal Code of Canada outlines the punishments for those found guilty of taking a person hostage, which include life imprisonment, 14 years of imprisonment, or any other term of imprisonment determined by the court. The punishment depends on the severity of the crime and considers factors such as whether the hostage was killed or permanently injured, the length of confinement, and the nature of the acts or omissions demanded in exchange for the hostage's release. The criminalization of this act is essential to deter individuals and groups from attempting to take hostages as means of exerting power or leverage to achieve their goals. Hostage-taking is a severe crime that affects not only the hostage but also their friends and family and creates a climate of fear and insecurity in the community. The law serves to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions and provides a sense of justice and closure for victims. The Criminal Code also includes provisions to prevent and combat hostage-taking, such as the international law enforcement cooperation to identify, locate, and apprehend perpetrators. In addition, the United Nations has created protocols, including the Hostage Convention and the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, to strengthen the legal framework and enhance the cooperation among states to prevent and combat hostage-taking and related crimes. In conclusion, Section 279.1(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an essential provision that criminalizes hostage-taking, a severe and dangerous crime that threatens the liberty, safety, and well-being of individuals and communities. The section sends a clear message that taking hostages is a criminal act that will not be tolerated and that perpetrators will be held accountable for their actions. The law is a critical tool to prevent and combat this crime and protect the rights and freedoms of all Canadian citizens.

STRATEGY

When dealing with Section 279.1(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, there are several strategic considerations that must be taken into account. The first consideration is the safety of the hostage. The hostage is the primary concern, and any strategy employed must ensure their safety. Second, the intent of the hostage taker needs to be determined. Knowing what the hostage taker wants and how they plan to achieve it is essential in devising an effective strategy. Finally, the goal is to resolve the situation peacefully, without any harm to the hostage or the hostage taker. One strategy that could be employed is negotiation. Negotiation involves establishing communication with the hostage taker and negotiating the release of the hostage. The goal is to find a compromise that both parties can agree upon. The negotiation can be conducted by trained negotiators who are skilled in de-escalating tense situations. During the negotiation, it is essential to maintain open dialogue, build rapport, and focus on the hostage taker's needs and concerns. Another strategy is to use force. Using force should be a last resort and only used when all other options have been exhausted. Before using force, law enforcement and other professionals should have a clear understanding of the hostage taker's capabilities and the potential risks to the hostage. If force is used, it must be executed quickly and efficiently to ensure the safety of the hostage and law enforcement personnel. In situations where the hostage taker's demands are unreasonable or impossible to meet, a deception strategy could be employed. This strategy involves creating a false impression that the demands are being met while secretly implementing a plan to rescue the hostage. The goal is to confuse the hostage taker and make them believe they are winning. Deception strategies require careful planning and execution and should only be employed by highly trained professionals. There is also the option of waiting. Waiting involves monitoring the situation, gathering information, and waiting for an opportunity to negotiate, use force or employ a deception strategy. This strategy is often used when the hostage taker's demands are unclear or when there is no immediate threat to the safety of the hostage. In conclusion, dealing with Section 279.1(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada requires careful consideration and strategic planning. Negotiation, force, deception, and waiting are all strategies that could be employed. However, the primary goal is always to ensure the safety of the hostage, resolve the situation peacefully, and bring the hostage taker to justice.